And that’s why it’s called “Black Friday.” (5 origin stories that might not be true, at all.)

Black Friday

Disclaimer: After writing this blog post about Black Friday, our pesky fact checkers insisted on adding some unnecessary commentary to the write-up. In this writer’s opinion, the piece was fine, but they were using very loud voices during the conversation. I suggest skipping their note at the end of the post altogether.

As this week winds to a close, a lot of people are going to be donning their cold weather gear and pressing their noses against the glass at their megastore of choice until the employees let them inside for discounts on TVs that are marginally bigger than last year’s model. In other words, it’s Black Friday time!

The origins of Black Friday are shrouded in mystery*, much like a supervillain might shroud him- or herself in a dark, intimidating cape. So we thought it might be interesting to shed some light on the true history of Black Friday! We can’t, because we don’t know what it is, but here are some possibilities that are almost as true, if you think about it.

  1. Black Friday occurs on the day after Thanksgiving. Turkeys are brown though, so there seems to be an obvious connection with Pilgrim’s hats, which are black.**
  2. The very word “Friday” comes from ‘Fry’ day, which is a culinary term for cooking something in an awesome manner. However, if one cooks a food item for too long, it is blackened. BOOM. Black Friday.***
  3. Pirates.****
  4. It was coined by the band AC/DC to celebrate the release (and in successive years, the anniversaries) of their album “Back in Black” in 1980.*****
  5. Early Americans invented the acronym B.L.A.C.K. (Britain Loves A Crown-wearing King) as a mnemonic device to remember why they had moved to this new land in the first place and get them through the long winters that eventually culminated in the first Thanksgiving. See? Pilgrims again. Q.E.D.******

We’ve all learned a lot today*******, and you can help us celebrate this no-longer-mysterious holiday at our Black Friday sale, which runs through the weekend. Every used book that ships from us is on sale. T.G.I.B.F.!

Special note on this article by our Fact Checkers:
* A short trip to Wikipedia suggests otherwise.
** Evidence suggests nothing of the sort.
*** This is plainly wrong.
**** This is baffling, but since so little is provided, this is not technically wrong yet.
***** While the suggestion that the aforementioned band invented this holiday is incorrect, the album in question did in fact come out in 1980, so this is only 99% wrong.
****** The Early Americans did not do that; no record of this acronym exists; additionally, that is not how you use a “Q.E.D.”
******* If you say so.


  1. Nancy H. Erdmann says:

    11/22 Love “article” on Origin of the Term Black Friday. Just the kind of thinking and “research” into the Imagination-of-Play-and-Substance*
    which is so sadly lacking in today’s intellectual discourse!
    * an ability in humans (probably in animals, maybe plants) representing a dimension of discovery, ususally only referred to in the area of the discovery of the underlying causes of a scientific or physical phenomenon. Eureka!
    I would like to suggest that the term “Black Friday” originated from either a shopper or perhaps many shoppers receiving the credit card bill elucidating the true cost of all of those “bargains” bought the day after a food-induced-stupor-like-drunkeness.
    When days like “Black Monday” or could be “Black Tuesday, not sure,” have been used, for example in the stock market slide in 1989, the meaning is clearly financial ruin. Which would accord with my theory of “Black Friday” bringing unexpected financial ruin down on previously happy-go-lucky-consumers-of-the-American-Dream, a sad, dramatic, potentially tragic comeuppance which the powerful word “BLACK” encompasses.
    An alternative term, much weaker, might have been “Hang Over Friday.”
    Yours in curiosity about words and in multi-dimensional thinking and discovery (often through humor), Nancy Hutchinson Erdmann, Cambridge, MA

  2. Nancy H. Erdmann says:

    Please sign me up for your blog
    I am having much difficulty with the deciphering letters process below and may not succeed. OK, now the last try out of sic:

  3. 😀 made us laugh. what more can you ask for.

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